Cover of Walter Kempowski, Anthea Bell (TRN), Jenny Erpenbeck (INT): All for Nothing

Walter Kempowski, Anthea Bell (TRN), Jenny Erpenbeck (INT) All for Nothing

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Book information

New York Review of Books

USA

2018

Paperback

343

Standard

295598

978-1-68137-205-1

1-68137-205-3

World War, 1939-1945; Germany; Fiction.

Annotation

In East Prussia, January 1945, the German forces are in retreat and the Red Army is approaching. The von Globig family's manor house, the Georgenhof, is falling into disrepair. Auntie runs the estate as best she can since Eberhard von Globig, a special officer in the German army, went to war, leaving behind his beautiful but vague wife, Katharina, and her bookish twelve-year-old son, Peter. As the road fills with Germans fleeing the occupied territories, the Georgenhof begins to receive strange visitors--a Nazi violinist, a dissident painter, a Baltic baron, even a Jewish refugee. Yet in the main, life continues as banal, wondrous, and complicit as ever for the family, until their caution, their hedged bets, and their denial are answered by the wholly expected events they haven't allowed themselves to imagine. All for Nothing, published in 2006, was the last novel by Walter Kempowski, one of postwar Germany's most acclaimed and popular writers.

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